In cycling, there are days in which Murphy's Law is in full effect. For those unfamiliar with Murphy's Law, it is simply "everything which can go wrong, will go wrong." Now that we are all caught up, let me explain the relevancy of this law to the Quabbin Reservoir Road Race.
In a field of 150, things are bound to get stretched out and people are going to be tense. While I would generally see a field of 150 an exciting thing, because of the early season manner of the race, my feeling of most of the riders was an on edge sort of mentality. Because of this, there were a lot of unnecessary movements... and crashes.
Those who read last post remember my mechanical which cost me the race. Well this time, it was something a bit more which separated me for the field. Two crashes, the first at mile 5, and the second around mile 20. The first, was nothing major... for me anyways. I cannot speak for those involved. From what I heard, wheels were crossed and pavement kissed. No no... I am referring to the second crash around mile 20 which took half the field out of contention including myself.
Now now... put your mind at ease. I did not crash. However, I was just behind the crash, and by some magical bicycle handling... I was able to bob and weave through the carnage to continue on. To be more specific, within about 15 seconds, I had to duck a flying wheel, jump an additional skidding wheel, jump a skidding frame and maneuver my bike around a skidding person as well; all at about 20-30mph.
By the time I got through the wreckage, the remainder of the field, being about 50% by my count, was already a fair way of one of the larger climbs of the day. My maneuvering and twisting threw out my back and gave stitches up my side. While my fitness was where I needed it, I was unable to bridge up to the field and regain a chance of victory in the day.
To my knowledge, that crash took out 50% of the field. Out of those who went down, I am unsure how many were able to continue on.
All that said, I am extremely glad to ride another day. HOWEVER. This is the point of my post where I get on my soap bike (similar to soap box, but rolling) and preach the following to my field, and all other fields who do not have people to clean up after them.
When you are racing, in any field (even when you are just riding), do not just throw your wrappers and trash on the ground. You have the time to put your wrappers back in your jerseys. This said, unless you have someone to clean up after you while you are riding, there is no excuse to do this. The roads, while you use them, do not belong to just you. They are shared by other individuals and forms various forms of wildlife. It is important that if we are to be welcomed back to these places by the towns, and continue to see their beauty, that we as a community of cyclists striving for better health and glory; take care of the world we compete in and use to shape ourselves.
That is all.
Arc hard, ride fast, go plaid!